A high altitude review of the state of the mining industry provided by a study of multifactor productivity shows a continuation of lower output year on year for the capital and labor inputs applied. The story is sadly similar for both U.S. mining and the Australian mining sector. In fact, according to PwC analysts, the world’s mining equipment productivity has declined 20 percent during the past seven years (Lumley, 2014). Although the reasons for the continuing decline in mining productivity are varied, the need for improvement is clear.
The world’s mining industry fleet of more than 400 large draglines moves billions of tons of overburden and ore (phosphate, limestone, etc.) annually. This discussion will review a few of the tools available for improved productivity in dragline operations.